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Posts Tagged ‘Ladies of the Night’

Remember the special edition Ladies of the Night with a unique hand-drawn sketch by Chester Brown, signed by both Chester and me?  Well, there’s now only one left!  It’s #6 in the edition, featuring the sketch shown here, and it’s available in my store until it’s sold.  So if you want one, this is your last chance and I wouldn’t wait much longer!  While you’re in the store, you might consider buying an autographed copy of one or both books, assuming you don’t already have one.  I’m also going to start selling The War on Whores DVDs there soon, and if you can help with my fundraiser it might speed up the process of generating more buzz about this important documentary.

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It’s been three years since I stopped publishing “fictional interludes” on a monthly basis, and more than six years since I stopped doing “My Favorite __________” columns.  And yet last week I started deeply missing that feature, and wishing that I could produce them as often as I used to.  That mood inspired me to pull out my own copies of Ladies of the Night and The Forms of Things Unknown, browse through them, and reread a few of them, and that in turn inspired me to make a list of my own favorites from both collections (and a couple which will be included in my next collection, Lost Angels, which I’ll probably compile in another year or so).  So without further ado (except to encourage you to support my work by buying them if you don’t already own them, and reviewing them if you like them), I hereby present my own personal top 10, in order of publication, with a short comment on each.

1) Pearls Before Swine

Perceptive readers have certainly noticed my love of mythology in general and Greek mythology in particular; a number of my stories have themes, titles, settings or characters borrowed from it.  This one has only the last, and yet its title is scriptural and its themes eternal.  And its Southern Gothic setting is, in many ways, one that fits the character almost as well as the one she’s usually associated with.

2) Bad News

While it’s not uncommon for my stories to feature dry humor, I have difficulty performing this one at book readings without giggling.  Even if I were restricted to five selections, I think this one would still make the cut.

3) Visions of Sugarplums

As befits a Christmas story, this is certainly the lightest, most sentimental, and most optimistic tale on this list.  And the protagonist is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever (literally) dreamed up, partly because rather than being a goddess, witch, villainess or femme fatale, she’s just an escort of rather nervous temperament who finds herself in well over her head.

4) Rose

This isn’t my only story which treats seriously a topic I usually make fun of in my non-fiction, nor my only story based on a poem, nor the only one featuring very dark humor.  And did I ever tell you that the unreliable narrator is one of my favorite literary devices?  Because it is.  Read this one and maybe you’ll understand why.

5) Millennium

A tale of First Contact seen through an extremely cynical lens.  You’ve probably never seen aliens portrayed quite like this before, and the fact that you probably haven’t may tell you just how cynical.

6) The Sum of Its Parts

I’m not really very good with pastiche; the only author whose style I can reasonably approximate is Maggie McNeill.  And that’s probably why I like this one so much; it reads very much like a pulp tale from the 1930s, and the characters and dialogue are, in my own admittedly-biased opinion, some of the best I ever wrote.

7) Knock, Knock, Knock

I’ve written scarier things than this, and more personal things than this, but none both scarier and more personal.  And I still don’t like thinking about it when I’m alone late at night.

8) Lost Angel

This is not a tale of horror, at least not the usual kind of horror; it is, in fact, pretty squarely in the genre generally known as “science fiction”.  Nobody dies violently or suffers some other awful fate…so why do I always experience a pronounced frisson when thinking about the ending?

9) Trust Exercise

Many of the stories in The Forms of Things Unknown are, in a way, autobiographical, but none more so than this one.  It’s about love, trust and other scary things, but it can’t possibly scare you as much as it scares me because I know what it all means.  I still think you’ll enjoy it.

10) Wheels

While “Trust Exercise” is a scary story about love, it’s not the love that’s scary; that is definitely not true in “Wheels”, the distillation of some themes that have haunted me for almost four decades and finally demanded I explore them in a more traditional narrative form.

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As the Beatles said in a song that isn’t the one this column is named for, “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  And that’s what this is; a request for a little help from you, my readers and friends.  Of course, the most helpful help is usually monetary, but I’m aware that many of you may be suffering from giving fatigue lately; therefore only the FIRST of these requests is for monetary help.  The other two won’t cost you a cent, though the second one will cost you some time; the third only requires a change in the way you do things.

First, as is not unusual with GoFundMe projects, mine is stalled at just over the halfway mark.  So if you haven’t contributed yet, please do so by clicking here!  And if you already have, please consider doing so again, or subscribing to my blog by clicking one of the handy buttons in the margin.  So far, your contributions have enabled the burning of DVDs (which should be delivered to us this week), getting The War on Whores onto Amazon (where you can watch it for FREE if you’re a Prime member), and doing several sponsored screenings for groups which couldn’t otherwise afford it.  Please keep us going so we can get on iTunes and keep doing those sponsored screenings (next ones are coming in Florida in only two weeks)!  And even though I’m not allowed to advertise gifts directly on GoFundMe, there are indeed gifts and you can see them here.

Second:  speaking of Amazon, their algorithms dig up things a lot better if they have more reviews; would you please consider reviewing The War on Whores, The Forms of Things Unknown and/or Ladies of the Night for me?  More reviews could result in more sales, and more sales not only means more money, but more exposure.  Since all the items are linked by my name, increased attention to the books could also mean increased attention to the film, which will get the message out that much more.  And since the film is being considered “adult” by search engines, that’s extra-important in these days of shadowbans, hidden content and de-weighted search results intended to bury anything sex-industry-related where it can’t disturb the sleep of prudes and prohibitionists.

And that brings us to number 3.  Due to Twitter shadowbanning sex workers (removing us from search results, etc) my follower count has been stalled for a very long time.  So what I need is for those of you who follow me there to consider replacing some or most of your “likes” with retweets.  “Likes” are nice, but they don’t put my tweets in front of more eyeballs, and since I’m fortunate in having a very large fraction of my followers come from outside the demimonde, retweets allow my tweets to be seen by people who might not otherwise have seen them.  More viewers = more readers = more exposure for my writing, speaking, etc, including The War on Whores.  And because of that war, we whores need all the support we can get.

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Remember the special edition Ladies of the Night with a unique hand-drawn sketch by Chester Brown, signed by both Chester and me?  Well, there are only two of them left!  The sketches are the ones shown here, and they’re available in my store.  So if you want one, I wouldn’t wait much longer!  While you’re in the store, you might consider buying an autographed copy of one or both books, assuming you don’t already have one.  And just in case you missed it, I have a new story out as of last month; if you’re a patron you should have already received a PDF copy; if you didn’t, please let me know!  And if you aren’t already a patron, you can become one by clicking one of those lovely buttons under “Become a Blog Patron” in the right-hand column.  Or if you just want to read the story, you can get it on Kindle for only 99¢.  Anyhow, that’s all I have to say for now, at least until I get the next book (an essay collection) out sometime this year.

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Did you notice that just over a week ago, I changed the picture at the top of the right-hand column to the cover of my new book, The Forms of Things Unknown?  That wasn’t just a cosmetic decision; I did it to draw attention to the fact that I now have an onsite store of my own!  I’m not very good with computer stuff, so even though I decided to do this soon after the book was published and solicited (see what I did there?) some advice on how to build it from a gent knowledgeable in such things, it took me until now (and a bit of arm-twisting by Lorelei) to get around to actually doing it.  Really, PayPal makes it pretty easy; I’m just very easily overwhelmed by complex protocols with which I’m unfamiliar.  But anyhow, if you just want a regular paper or Kindle copy of the book, it’s easiest just to go through Amazon.  But if you’d like an autographed copy of either this one or Ladies of the Night, or one of the signed and numbered copies with unique sketches by Chester Brown (and signed by both of us – there are only four left!) just click on the little picture to visit my store, and don’t forget to add a note telling me how you’d like the book inscribed!  Later I plan to add other merchandise to the store, but for right now let’s just be glad I was able to get it set up in the first place; you could encourage me (and help support my activism) by buying something today, and leaving a review on Amazon too.  Just sayin’.

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At last, it’s here!  After literally years of delays, and months of design and composition, The Forms of Things Unknown is ready for sale!  This time there are two stories you haven’t seen; the first, “Trust Exercise”, opens the book and I gave a sneak preview of it back in December.  But the other, “Eight Minute Warning”, concludes the book and isn’t anything like any other story of mine you’ve ever seen (except that a sex worker is mentioned in passing).  If you’re interested, you’ll just have to buy the book!  Another thing you’ll need to buy it to see is the rest of the fantastic cover art by Chester Brown; see, this one’s a wraparound cover, so the image here is only the front.  The rest is a surprise (and yes, I’m teasing you again).  As with Ladies of the Night, I’ll be selling autographed copies here, but if you plan to buy through Amazon I have a special request:  please purchase your copy in the first week of May, in other words from this coming Monday through the following Sunday.  The reason I ask this is that a lot of sales in a short time will trigger Amazon’s algorithms and make the book much more visible to new readers who don’t know about me yet.  Also, if you like the book please write a review; a large number of positive reviews (I believe it takes 30 or so) will trigger yet another algorithm.  By taking these steps, you can help me in two ways:  once by your kind purchase of the book, and again by making it more visible to new readers; many of them may also buy Ladies of the Night!  As always, y’all have my sincere thanks, and I both hope and believe y’all will love the book!

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Three years ago, when I was about to launch my first book tour, I wrote:

In days of yore, artists tried to attract patrons; that is, noblemen or other wealthy individuals who would give them money to live on.  The artist was expected to produce poems or paintings or concerti or whatever for the patron, and the rest of the time (barring the occasional cathedral ceiling or requiem mass) was left to putter on his own to produce Great Things; the best patrons required little in return for their generosity, while others were more demanding.  Modern governments and corporations still give out grants, but since these are determined by bureaucratic politics or commercial considerations it isn’t really the same; these entities tend to expect certain results, and on a timetable at that, so there’s little room for the recipient to follow his own path while somebody else pays the bills…

Since then, my husband and I have parted ways, and I’ve returned to work full-time.  And while I’m taking steps to reduce my expenses, it’s still very nice to see my whoring income supplemented in other ways.  Of course y’all know about how to subscribe to my blog, and how to send me gifts; my new book will be coming out soon, and I’ve discussed the range of appointments and engagements available even to those who live far away from me.  Lately, Lorelei Rivers & I have even discovered that many people seem to enjoy contributing to our Sunday night Doctor Who dates by buying us dinner and other gifts (those who do receive a special extra-nudie cheesecake pic taken on the night we enjoy your gift).  But now I’d like to make it easier to make merchandise (such as books, T-shirts and whatnot) and donations available; I’m therefore considering a commercial website on which to sell my stuff.  I already own a number of domains with similar names, but I’m hopeless when it comes to actually creating websites; I’m therefore looking for some generous reader with the necessary skills to build me a small e-commerce site on which I can list the merchandise I currently have available, and add other things as I think of them (such as signed nude photos, posters of Chester Brown’s awesome art for my book covers, and anything else my whorish brain can think of).  If you know how to do this and would like to volunteer your time, please contact me; I’m looking for someone who’s willing to take on the whole project, so please don’t just email me and say “Oh, bizdalek.com is a really easy solution to exterminating your e-commerce woes,” because if you do I shall surely put a curse on you with my Evil Eye.  I am an idiot when it comes to building sites, which is why it took me literally years to try out WordPress for this blog (and if anything I find the prospect more daunting now than I did in my early forties).  No, what I’m looking for is someone willing to make a gift of his time and expertise to help me out, and be thereby forever inscribed on the rolls of top patrons of my work.  If that’s you, please e-mail me!

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